Senator Collins Backs David Friedman
WASHINGTON – Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) — a moderate Republican who has already voted against one Trump nominee — told Jewish Insider that she is “inclined to support” David Friedman to be US Ambassador to Israel. In a brief interview on Tuesday, the Maine lawmaker explained, “I called Joe (Lieberman) to find out his views and he (Lieberman) speaks very highly of him (Friedman). That certainly is a good endorsement… I’m inclined to support him.”
During the Senate Foreign Relations vote on March 9, all of the Republican committee members voted in favor of Friedman. However, nine Democrats opposed the New York attorney with Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) crossing party lines to join with the GOP. Along with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), former Senator Joe Lieberman introduced Friedman at his hearing and offered strong praise for the President’s nominee.
It appears likely that Friedman will pass the Senate floor if he is able to win over moderate Republican Senators such as Susan Collins. The question remains how much backing he will receive from Democrats. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has not yet announced his intentions and could play a significant role in swaying fellow Democrats. Last week, when asked by Jewish Insider if he backs Friedman, Schumer noted, “I’m waiting until I see him” and declined to comment further.
On February 16, Lieberman told a symposium at Yeshiva University, “I want to assure you that David Friedman will perform as Ambassador way above expectations.” The former Connecticut Senator is a partner at Friedman’s law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP.